by Marisa Marcantonio

Scented candles have become the gift that keeps on giving.  Yes, the market is saturated, but, they are a pretty way to say thank you, and guarantee hours of scented bliss. No wonder they are such a popular item to give, they aren't complicated and everyone has a scent they adore. When selecting the best scent to give, try and do some fragrance homework by asking what perfume your friend wears. This tip-off should provide enough intel to select up the appropriate aroma and corresponding candle, and I've selected some fragrant candles based on their beautiful packaging and high quality aromatic oils.

Photo courtesy of Byredo

Winter is a time to hibernate with a good book. Friends who would rather spend a Sunday under a cashmere throw in a wing chair reading Anna Karenina can burn this romantic, evocative Bibliothèque candle by scent superstar Byredo, to escape the everyday. The scent, including fruity essences of Peach and Plum, is accented with leather and Vanilla. Totally rich and decadent.

Photo courtesy of Aerin

There's nothing like the allure of gold around the holidays. It just makes everything more festive. It's a good thing Aerin launched her Fireside and Fir scent just in time for the winter. A gold-leafed glass container holds a woodyy Aspen-inspired scent ,comprised of Mediterranean Cypress, Fir Balsam, and a bit of black amber along with white Birch.

Photo courtesy of Niven Morgan

Niven Morgan names his scents after the locales that inspire them. His Mustique 1958 soy candle has notes of florals, fruits and herbs such as Bergamot, fresh citrus and Neroli mixed with musks, amber, moss and blonde wood.

 Photo courtesy of L'Objet

The nice thing about

L'Objet's scented candles is that they come in porcelain and gold bowls that can easily be repurposed to hold earrings or coins. Winter is a good time to go for richer fragrances at home, so the spicy Cinnabar scent in this candle fits its ornate red exterior well.

Photo courtesy of Belle Fleur

Belle Fleur is known for their pure fragrances and clean packaging. They have just introduced a new assortment of scents with a more exotic allure.  For those that love fig, and there are many of you out there that do, myself included, Casa Malaparte, named after the famed modernist villa on Capri will enchant with Grapefruit, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Rose, Fig Leaf and Cedarwood.

Photo courtesy of Jo Malone

Tis the season for limited edition candles. Woodsy and warm with a hint of Cinnamon, the Blue Spruce deluxe candle from Jo Malone will have you singing carols in no time.

Photo courtesy of Matouk

Even when they are not lit, Matouk's White Garden candle with scents of Lilly, Orchid and Freesia give a subtle scent to the air. Like their well-designed crisp bedding, the candle is packaged in subtle white glass packaging.

Photo courtesy of Diptyque

If you are like me, and white flowers like Tuberose make you swoon, then the classic Diptyque candle is a fail-safe choice. It now comes in this red tinged glass, very holiday festive.

Photo courtesy of Cire Trudon

Know a hard to gift for captain of industry that has everything? Get this hard-to-gift-for titan a luxe leather-scented candle from Cire Trudon to burn while they read their FT in their cozy wood-paneled library. Yes, this is yet another special limited edition candle.

 Photo courtesy of Agraria

To add a bit of sparkle to the powder room, the Mediterranean Jasmine Crystal Cane Candle from Agraria comes in a petite size and will fit on the edge of a sink. Made of vegetable based soft wax, the bright blue hue keeps things interesting.

Scented in Ebony Teak, you can select which color ceramic vessel you would like with this cashmere brand heavyweight's candle - there is an assortment of pale hues offered. Made in Italy, Brunello Cuccinelli's wood wicked scented candle is quite extravagantly priced. So whomever gets it as a git  is definitely worth it.

 Photo courtesy of Astier de Vilatte

Know any aspiring actors that feel the pull of the great White Way? This Broadway scent with a high energy mix of citrus and caramel from Parisian tabletop line Astier de Vilatte will remind them to work hard and they might just make it.

Photo courtesy of Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle's scents are so pure, they are like burning his precious purfume. This season, for the traditionalists, he has created a special limited edition candle with top notes of pine, cinnamon and a bit of cotton candy (?!) . Clad in his usual red glass vessel, the Joyeux Noël scent, designed by "nose" Dominique Ropion, is packaged in a box illustrated by artist Konstantin Kakanias.  Is there a way I can frame the box afterwards? The artwork is just too good!

 Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren Home

I tend to rotate my candle assortment for seasonally-appropriate fragrances. Last December, when my Red Currant, Evergreen and Juniper-scented candle was down to the wick, I was disappointed it was all finished. I am glad this classic scent pairing from Ralph Lauren is back in rotation every holiday season, or I would be forlorn.

Photo courtesy of Tom Dixon

Evoke reverie by escaping to exotic lands with Tom Dixon's rich Orientalist-scent candle. It come in a streamlined brass vessel with a marble lid and looks super chic in any setting.

 Photo courtesy of Lafco

If you are feeling stumped on what scent to get, there is always the safe bet of Chamomile and Lavender. Lafco's room appropriate scented candles are a no-brainer, and since so many people have trouble sleeping, this bedroom blend could be just the thing.


by Marisa Marcantonio

It seems as though the weather on the East Coast will not be cooperating this weekend, so kicking off summer may mean less beach, more movie-going. You can still be prepared for the sun's arrival with beachy basics that have you covered all season long. From picnics in the park to sunsets in the sand, here are some summery designs you will want close at hand.

Serena and Lily just launched the most amazing Shop at the Beach in Wainscott, LI where I spotted this heavenly perch. Spend lazy days swinging away in their woven Double Hanging Rattan Chair. Throw some of their festive printed pillows into the mix, a cool lemonade and a good book, and you are all set.

Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel

A summer classic, the Adirondack Chair gets a modern spin with Crate and Barrel's Vista Chair. Strong lines give their teak version an entirely new look.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Carry meals to and fro the garden or set up bar on this Melamine Cane Tray from C. Wonder in a classic navy and white color combo.

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Inventive and festive patterns can transform melamine plates into another realm. Fun plastic plates should never be boring, as with West Elm's cheery Mexican-inspired Bright Shapes design, available in pink, yellow and orange salad and dinner sized versions.

Iced tea and lemonade quench thirst better when consumed from a chic glass, in this case, C. Wonder's Cane Tumbler Plastic Glass.

Photo courtesy of World Market

Could this flatware be any chicer? Dipped-handle enamel and stainless steel flatware from World Market is picnic ready and a major steal. The great color adds punch to a summer table.

Photo courtesy of Pomegranate

The new coral and shell Lyford print in aqua from Pomegranate is one of my favorites. The two color hand-blocked pattern is casual and breezy.

Photo courtesy of Terrain

Have a bottle opener handy at all times, you never know when the party will start. Terrain Just Hooked Fish bottle opener will ensure the ginger beer is flowing.

Photo courtesy of Target

Named after my favorite beach, Surfside, Nate Berkus's Target Collection Towel with an interlocking woven pattern in navy and white is chic and crisp.

 Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Pillows that look nice both outdoors and in are tricky to find. Jonathan Adler's Aegean Wave Pillow in cobalt with turquoise trim is a good summer find.

Photo courtesy of Matouk

Amazing graphic abstract patterns on plush beach towels from Matouk, now available through their website.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Perfect your swing with C. Wonder's Paddle Set in lively stripes. 

Photo courtesy of Turkish T

Stock up on soft cotton Turkish-T Fouta towels in the skinny Candy Stripe, they double as a beach towel, sarong and scarf.

Photo courtesy of Iomoi

Stash jewelry, shoes and small stuff in Iomoi's monogrammed canvas set of 3 Travel Bags. You will feel SO organized. Choose from a darling assortment of custom designs and motifs Irene has designed.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

Pack beach balls and towels in a roomy tote, like this one designed by the talented graphic artist Virginia Johnson for J. Crew with friendly sharks swimming in a blue sea.


by Marisa Marcantonio

The winter blues may have you pining for spring, so why not dream of warm days to come in some divine bedding? Matouk, maker of beautiful bedding and bath linens, is launching an e-commerce portion of their website. So now you can shop around the clock for pretty patterned, boldly bordered linens, towels and gifts. In honor of this exciting debut, they are generously offering Stylebeat readers the chance to win a set of their classic banded Lowell Bedding! The value is around $563 depending on the size of your bed, so Happy Birthday to you if you win!  In order to enter, dear stylish ones,  please do the following by March 10th:

1. Like Matouk on Facebook at facebook.com/Matouk.Linens

2.Follow Matouk on Twitter, @Matouk

3. Leave a comment on STYLEBEAT below with your preferred size and color

 Complete the above by Sunday, March 10th at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday, March 11th. Good luck!

To get even more of a good thing,  Matouk is ALSO doing a custom monogram duvet giveaway on Facebook:
Share a photo on Matouk's Facebook page of a beautifully made up bed for the chance to win a monogrammed Lowell Duvet Cover.  Imagine if you won both, boy, would you be lucky!

 In order to win, complete the following by March 15th, 2013:
Here's what you need to do:

1. Like Matouk on Facebook @ facebook.com/Matouk.Linens
Share a photo of a beautifully made bed on their wall with your bed size, initials, and preferred color.

2. Follow Matouk on Twitter @Matouk
Again, share a photo of a beautifully made bed on their feed with your bed size, initials, and preferred color.

Be sure to follow Matouk and get the scoop! 


by Marisa Marcantonio

Switching out the warm, winter bed for fresh, new bedding in the summer is part of many people's changeover routine. Away goes the thick duvet and out comes the coverlet and thin blanket. If you are by the ocean, the duvet may be a necessity, so folding it into thirds at the end of the bed looks nice and neat. Perhaps your master bedroom needs reviving, and sometimes the guest linens need a refresher. Block prints, tiny patterns and solids in hot pink, blue and lavender were big spring news.

Here are some colorful new patterns, prints and solids to get you started!

 Photos courtesy of Serena and Lily

The new block-printed Ramona duvet and Euro sham from Serena and Lily is a robust take on a damask, Indian-style.

The coordinating Kerala sheet set in bright and soft pinks is an abstracted Indian floral that looks boho chic without going off the deep end.

 Photos courtesy of John Robshaw

John Robshaw introduced a bridge collection called JR by John Robshaw that is perfect for dorm rooms and the like. At a 200 thread count, it offers a lot of style for an approachable price point.

Perhaps a fresh spring green damask calls to you. Ludoli, all-over bedding pattern from John Robshaw adds visual interest without overwhelming other prints in the room.

 Photo courtesy of Allem Studio

If you can't get enough of block printing, geometrics and fish, then Allem Studio is for you. A varied Sea Green feels right at home with the fish pattern. The bedding is made by Sewa, a women's collective in India.

 Photos courtesy of Matouk

As usual, Matouk's creative collaboration with Lulu DK yields phenomenal results. This spring saw the introduction of Lyford, a white solid fireworks-of-a-floral on perfectly hued Crocus (lavender), Ocean (a French blue) and Geranium (a coral) ground.

The Lyford in Crocus

And as usual, patterns co-mingle together. Here we have from top to bottom: Star, Cove, and Lyford.

And in Geranium with coordinates.

If florals make you happy, this tight bloom called Petals also from Lulu DK for Matouk is a great choice.

The freshness of this Star and Cove combination from Matouk in pale blue and white is wonderful.

Stella, a tiny compass-shaped design comes quilted, also from Lulu for Matouk

Photo courtesy of Garnet Hill

Sometimes adding a ditzy, small pattern can re-invigorate and freshen existing white bedding. This small geo is Frette's Orchidales print through Garnet Hill.

Photo courtesy of Plover Organic

A small undulating pattern, Pink Waves, from Plover Organic is a pattern that also mixes in well with all white.

Bedding designer Katherine Ferran loves her prints and geometrics and this spring was no exception, as she introduced a charming large bloom with climbing stem and leaves.

Another angle

Summer and seersucker just go together, so thank goodness Ferran has their new spring green seersucker with coral edging.

 Photo courtesy of Haute Home

Haute Home also understands the need for relaxes resorty basics, so their seersucker with lace detailing.

 Photo courtesy of Julia B

Details! Bows abound on these darling custom monogram Nice shams from Julia B. with side ties of grosgrain ribbon. 

Photo courtesy of Sferra

If you are in a seaside setting, why not go nautical with Sferra's Orlo bedding with a chic inset wide banding?

Photo courtesy of Haute Home

There's nothing likea bold border to add life. Here, Haute Home pairs orange and turquoise, two colors that speak to summer living.

 Photo courtesy of Sferra

Linen bedding has earned converts for breathability and softness. Sferra's Classico Vintage offers a lived-in look that captures the essence of a European bed. With classic lines and casual appeal, the soft color palette is oh-so soothing.